Local farmer honors late wife by feeding hungry families

As Danny Garrett combs through a patch of cucumbers, he can’t help but think about his late wife, Mariam.

"It was her passion," says Garrett.

When she wasn’t in the field picking produce, she was at the local farmer’s market.

"She just liked people," says Garrett.

It’s been almost a year since Garrett’s wife died.

"I think about her a lot," he says.

Her memory continues to live on through Eat Harvest, but when Garrett can’t find a buyer, thousands of pounds of food will sometimes sit in the field and rot.

"Every time you see something thrown away, you know, it’s just natural for people to think ‘Well, somebody could have used that,’" says Garrett.

Instead of letting his produce go to waste, Garrett takes it to a food bank in Mayfield, Kentucky. Once it’s there, Clay Black with the Purchase Area Development District distributes the fruits and vegetables to local food pantries at no cost.

"Last year, when (Garrett) brought his first load, he looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘You just made my payroll this week,’" says Black.

The Farms to Food Banks program is funded by the state. Because of that, Black can buy extra produce from farmers at a price just below wholesale.

"It’s a no-lose situation," says Garrett.

The Kentucky Association of Food Banks says last year, more than 300 farmers across Kentucky participated in the program, and they were able to provide enough produce to fill half a plate full of fruits and vegetables for more than 4 million meals.

If you’re a farmer who would like to help feed hungry families in your area, click here.

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